Science: Three Mile Island Verdict

Human error is to blame

For many of the tourists who are flocking daily to Pennsylvania's crippled Three Mile Island nuclear power station, the 15-minute documentary may have the ring of authority. Prepared by Metropolitan Edison Co., the plant's operator, and being shown daily at the Observation Center across the river from Three Mile Island's cooling towers, the script has a glib explanation for last March's near disaster. It resulted, says the Met Ed film, from "a complex combination of equipment failures, ambiguous instruments and operator failures . . ." The production also insists that the amount of radiation released into the...

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